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2023: Popular Kaduna Islamic Cleric Rejects Muslim-Muslim Ticket


2023: Popular Kaduna Islamic Cleric Rejects Muslim-Muslim Ticket

A renowned Islamic cleric and the former special adviser to the Executive Governor of Kaduna State on Islamic Matters and Hajj, Sheik Haliru Abdullahi Maraya has called on Nigerians especially Muslim politicians to jettison the pressure of succumbing to the calls for a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket.

“The combination of a Muslim and non-Muslim, in a presidential ticket, in Nigeria of today, also gives vent to the spirit of justice, fairness and equity as enshrined in the religion of Islam. Remember, the country is for the Muslims and non-Muslims alike” he stated.

“No religion has the monopoly of qualified people who have the capacity to serve as running mates to presidential candidates if merit should be the parameter for the nomination of running mates.’

According to him,“Nigeria is a multi-religious country of more than 200 million people who are Muslims and non-Muslims. Hence, one can say that the country is owned by more than 200 million citizens who are of diverse religious backgrounds.”

This was contained in a statement signed to buttress his opinion on Monday 4 July 2022, which was distributed to pressmen.

Sheik Maraya, said that Nigeria’s politicians and its major political parties have been avoiding fielding same-faith presidential candidates since the present political dispensation started in 1999.

In any event, the combination of people of different religious backgrounds, on a presidential ticket, appears to give vent to the constitutional requirement that the composition of the federal government and its agencies should reflect the federal character of the country, and the need to promote national unity, thereby ensuring that there is no predominance of sectional groups in the government, as enshrined in Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended.

As a Muslim, one is enjoined by the religion to only love for mankind, regardless of any social difference, what they love for themselves. I don’t think there is a Muslim who will support a Christian-Christian presidential ticket.

Undoubtedly, the Muslims would cry out for the perpetration of injustice against them. Hence, it’s wrong for a Muslim to support a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket as it is at variance with the spirit of justice which the religion of Islam promotes and defends at all times.

He noted this became highly imperative in order to be just to all the citizens of the country, and also to balance the apparent religious sentiments prevalent in the country.

Alhaji Maraya further disclosed that the country is better off with a presidential ticket which has the President and his running mate coming from different religious backgrounds.

This he added would have fulfilled the constitutional requirements of the country.

He said that the religion of Islam orders the sincere administration of justice, on all, regardless of any distinction, be it religious, ethnic, geographical, tribal, inter alia. The religion enjoins its adherents to always stand for justice as a matter of principle, whether for Muslims or non-Muslims, even if justice should side against them.

While quoting from the Holy Quran, Sheikh Maraya says: “and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just” (Q5:8).

He pointed out that “Those promoting the idea of a Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian presidential ticket, in today’s Nigeria, do not wish the country well especially now that it is divided along religious fault lines. I wonder what the country would be should the various agitations in the land assume a religious dimension.”

Sheik Maraya, while condemning the idea of a Muslim-Muslim ticket said it would only exacerbate tensions along religious lines, adding that those promoting such an idea do not mean well for the country.

The Sheik further argued that to balance the geographical and ethnic sentiments in the country, our politicians and major political parties have never contemplated fielding candidates of the same geographical and ethnic leanings. In other words, they have never fielded a north-north or a south-south presidential ticket.

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